Disclaimer: I own nothing from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; it all belongs to Walt Disney Pictures.
Dedicated: To Brighty
Not Good Enough
Russ shifts his weight from one foot to the other, tightening, then loosening, his grip on the straps of his backpack. Despite the warm sun shining down, he feels cold. He lets out a long breath; yet the butterflies in his stomach only increase.
He glances through the glass doors into the school lobby; it is still crowded with students talking excitedly with their friends. Russ's eyes linger on a small group of girls who stands near the doors: Sarah, Kim, and Amy. Amy. A wistful smile touches his lips.
She is the prettiest girl in the school, in his opinion. She recently cut her long hair; so now the curled ends brush her shoulders. She always dresses very well. And she is very smart, though not as great a genius as her little brother Nick.
Though they had been neighbors for about seven years, Russ can count on both hands how many times he has talked (besides saying "hi") to Amy. He has always had a crush on her. When ever she is within a ten-foot radius of him, he turns into a bumbling idiot, acting like a twelve-year-old instead of his sixteen years. And since now she is one of the popular kids at school, he has even less courage to approach her.
He himself is not even close to popular. Yes, he is on the football team; but he is lean and small and un-muscular, a far cry from the image of a hunky football player whom girls would go crazy over. He even lacks the personality of a football player; he is quiet and shy, not liking being the center of attention. Football just isn't his thing. Not for the first time, he thinks about quitting.
Mom would probably support him, but Dad… Russ knows Dad would likely make him rejoin the team. And Russ would hear for the hundredth time how "you as the oldest should not, cannot, give up football. You will be good enough if you keep working on it. You need to make me and your mom proud."
He suddenly becomes aware of the fact Amy is looking at him curiously. Embarrassed at being caught staring, he quickly turns away and gazes intently at the sidewalk, his ears a bright pink.
A few moments later, the doors open, and Russ immediately picks out Amy's laughter among the voices. He watches out of the corner of his eye as she and Sarah and Kim go down the stairs. He sighs when he sees someone else has joined the girls: Paul. He has his arm hanging companionably over Amy's shoulders. Paul is just the type of guy Amy would hook up with. He is tall, handsome, and real good at sports. No doubt those two will be going together to the dance in two weeks.
Russ wishes he had the courage just to go ask her to go with him. But she has never noticed him and never will. He is not good enough for her or his dad. Just not good enough.